Monday, June 24, 2013

A Little Incensed

Recently I've been playing with my husband's incense collection, and making custom blends for fun.  You wouldn't think that squishing resin with a mortar and pestle is fun, but it is!  

I start out with nuggets of raw resin incense, and some herbs, and blend them together to suit my personal preferences and/or design goals.  It's important when doing this to test the blend out to see what your nose thinks it needs to achieve balance.  

For resin incense, we use a self-igniting charcoal disk over an incense burner.  We like those as pictured above because after the charcoal is burned and turns to ash, you can gently shake it, and the ashes will sift down into the container below, and you can start over without cleaning the burner every time.  You'll notice it sits on a small wooden base - this is important as the entire brass burner gets very hot from the charcoal, and the base keeps the desk surface safe from scorch marks/burns.

I've used a marble mortar and pestle in the past, but the resins tend to stick to the marble surface (especially if you want to add essential oils to the mix).  The brass one pictured here works much better.

The first blend of the week is something I call "Cleansing White Lavender."  My intentions were to make something that is good for cleansing away negativity, purifying, and acts as an anti-anxiety scent while leaving one open to new positive experiences.  It's a delicate balance of white copal, frankincense, lavender, sage, and Hawaiian white ginger.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Ink!

As a surprise gift, my loving husband bought me some new ink to play with, Noodler's Baystate Blue.

Ignore the sloppy Copperplate - I haven't done much practice so my technique is still crap (too round, still don't have a grasp on pressure for thicks/thins, etc).  The purpose of this picture is to show off the beautiful cobalt blue hue of this ink.  It's highly pigmented, but a tad sticky, meaning it is not for use in a fountain pen, but works beautifully for dip pens, particularly the copperplate nibs that don't have the separate reservoir.

This weekend we had a bit of a stitch 'n' bitch at my home, though I have been under the weather and wasn't much of a host.  A few lovely ladies came over and played in my art studio, sewing, beading, mending, etc.  I didn't even think to take pictures, but it was nice to share my space, particularly on a hot day when my room is quite chilly.